Assessment of risk to human health associated with outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in poultry- Situation as a 14 May 2004

May 2004
Weekly Epidemiological Record;5/21/2004, Vol. 79 Issue 21, p203
The article throws light on the assessment of risk to human health associated with outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in poultry. Implications of these events for human health are twofold. First, the H5N1 strain has demonstrated its capacity to infect humans and cause severe disease, with high fatality, on three separate occasions beginning in 1997. There is no vaccine to confer protection against the disease in humans and no specific treatment once illness becomes severe. A second and greater concern is the possibility that a new virus subtype with pandemic potential could emerge. Pandemics recur periodically yet unpredictably, and are invariably associated with high morbidity and mortality and great social and economic disruption.


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